Are there other Chinese cities besides 厦门 and 澳门 which end in 门 and what does 门 mean in this context?

  • The basic meaning of 门 is 'door'. The rest is all about etymology.
    – dan
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 1:03
  • 3
    see 中国所有城市名字 (661市)besides 澳门 and 厦门 find 海门市 in 江苏,江门 in 广东,荆门 and 天门市 in 湖北,三门峡 in 河南,玉门市 in 甘肃,
    – user6065
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 1:06
  • 1
    门 in such context means gateway. Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:34

3 Answers 3




The name was formerly written using the Chinese characters meaning "Lower Gate".

Lower Gate should equate to 下门.

When its port prospered under the Qing, the name was considered unrefined and changed to homophonous characters meaning "Mansion Gate".

Mansion Gate is the current name 厦门.


The present Chinese name (Chinese: 澳門; pinyin: Àomén; Cantonese Yale: Oumún) means "Bay Outlet".

Gate exists in British English also but with a very different meaning (road), think:

  • Gate Helmsley

  • Harrogate

and second similar idea is found on the wiki page for:


George R. Stewart theorized, in his book Names on the Globe, that Hellespont originally meant something like "narrow Pontus" or "entrance to Pontus", "Pontus" being an ancient name for the region around the Black Sea, and by extension, for the sea itself.

  • 2
    Good answer. As for the Hellespont it comes from Greek ΕΛΛΗΣΠΟΝΤΟΣ which can be split: ΕΛΛΗΣ ΠΟΝΤΟΣ (ΠΟΝΤΟΣ of ΕΛΛΗ). ΕΛΛΗ was the name of the mythological woman who fell into it, when travelling on the golden ram. ΠΟΝΤΟΣ in Ancient Greek meant "sea road", "sea path", "sailable sea" before it came to be generalised to "sea".
    – Ludi
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 8:29
  • @Ludi does the, supposed, "entrance" part work, as I was hoping it would?
    – Mou某
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:59
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    I have not heard that etymology. The etymology I mentioned is very old and the standard in Greek etymological lexicons such as Μπαμπινιώτης, but might still be wrong. I don't know what word Steward refers to, but Ancient Greek is a very rich language. There are lots of rare words.
    – Ludi
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 11:13

A place's name ended with 门 (gate/door) is usually an entry point of a city, providence or region.

The first part of the name may not even necessary be the providence's name. For example, 鲤鱼门 (Lei Yue Mun) is the east gate of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, but it isn't called Victoria Harbour Gate, because the name Victoria Harbour didn't exist 200 years ago.

As for why it is called 鲤鱼门 (Lei Yue Mun), no one know for sure. May be it came from the legend of 鯉躍龍門 (A carp that can jump over the top of Dragon Gate Fall would turn into a dragon), maybe it's because the terrain there looked like a 鲤鱼 (carp), or may be it was famous for carp fishing.


They are just names. But some stories can be found for them.

The name of 厦门 comes from 厦门城 (AD 1387). 厦门城 means “国家大厦之门”--the entrance of the nation 1.

And 澳门 comes from 濠镜澳, which means 盛产蚝且水域如镜的港湾 2.

Basically, 门 means gate/port when is found in a city's name. But sometimes it is from some historical events/location.

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